IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: Course in English Paleography

Dr. Ferrell asks that you pay special attention to this one – please read through the announcement below.  Paleography is an important required skill for all EMS students to master, and a Folger course would be excellent!  Please contact Dr. Ferrell if you would like to apply.

Introduction to English Paleography
A Late-Spring Intensive Skills Course
18-22 May 2015
Supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

This weeklong course provides an intensive introduction to handwriting in early modern England, with a particular emphasis on the English secretary hand of the sixteenth- and seventeenth-centuries. Working from manuscripts in the Folger collection, up to fifteen participants will be trained in the accurate reading and transcription of secretary, italic, and mixed hands. They will also experiment with contemporary writing materials (quills, iron gall ink, and paper), learn the terminology for describing and comparing letterforms, and become skillful decipherers of abbreviations, numbers, and dates. All transcriptions made by participants will become part of the Early Modern Manuscripts Online (EMMO) database ( ).

Director: Heather Wolfe is Curator of Manuscripts at the Folger Shakespeare Library. She has written widely on manuscripts in early modern England and is currently thinking about hybrid books, early modern writing paper, and filing systems. Dr. Wolfe has edited The Literary Career and Legacy of Elizabeth Cary, 1613-1680 (2007), The Trevelyon Miscellany of 1608: A Facsimile Edition of Folger Shakespeare Library MS V.b.232 (2007), and Elizabeth Cary, Lady Falkland: Life and Letters (2001), along with two exhibition catalogs: The Pen’s Excellencie: Treasures from the Manuscript Collection of the Folger Shakespeare Library (2002), and, with Alan Stewart, Letterwriting in Renaissance England (2004).

Schedule: Monday through Friday, 10 – 4:30 p.m., 18 – 22 May 2015.

Apply: 2 March 2015 for admission and grants-in-aid. Grants-in-aid are available by request for affiliates of the Institute’s Consortium, and Mellon funding extends eligibility for grants-in-aid to advanced PhD students and junior faculty at U.S. colleges and universities, to advanced PhD students and junior faculty at Canadian institutions, to professional staff of U.S. and Canadian libraries and museums, and to qualified independent scholars. Mellon funding provides modest stipends to all admitted participants.

Applications should be submitted through our online portal:

Please note: This is a beginning paleography offering; intermediate and advanced paleographers should look for an announcement later this spring about the weeklong “Advanced Early Modern English Paleography” workshop to be offered again in December 2015. Send any questions to



Owen Williams, Ph.D.
Assistant Director, Scholarly Programs
The Folger Institute
Folger Shakespeare Library

One thought on “IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: Course in English Paleography

  1. I did my initial paleography with Heather Wolfe when the longer (Mellon) summer session was held at the Huntington a couple of years ago. It was absolutely wonderful. I recommend this course if you’re at the beginning of your paleographic training (and the funding from the Mellon Foundation doesn’t hurt either!).

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